The carbon emissions financed by banks and asset managers in the UK are almost double that of the country, according to a study by WWF and Greenpeace on Tuesday, which calls on London to demand more effort from the sector. †The financial sector will play a critical role in determining whether the world will successfully transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy‘, the study underlines. †To date, neither the government nor any regulator has taken adequate action to tackle the global emissions problem funded by UK private financial institutions and ensure that they align their activities with the ambitionsof the country, namely carbon neutrality by 2050, she adds.
†Our results show that the CO2 emissions of the analyzed financial companies amount to 805 million tons“, with just over half for banks, the rest for asset managers, according to their data published as of 2019, WWF and Greenpeace specify. This stands for “almost 1.8 times the emissions produced in the UK», Details of the study. This is more than the emissions of Germany and Canada, the study finds, and slightly less than those of Iran, the 8th country with the most CO2 emissions.
The survey includes 15 banks and ten asset managers with a presence in the United Kingdom, but not all of them are British institutions. The City is the district of London where most of the major banks in the UK are headquartered, but the term often refers to the entire financial sector of the country. The study does not include insurance, so says it vastly underestimates the environmental footprint of the UK’s financial sector, which they say should be considered a high-carbon sector “such as the oil, mining, aviation sectors, etc. .
†Instead, some banks and financial institutions are making voluntary commitments to reduce their carbon emissions, many of which are greenwashing.and are insufficient, the study continues. †Planning a transition to carbon neutrality without considering the financial sector is like putting a link on a patient who needs open heart surgerysaid Tanya Steele, WWF Executive Director. She calls on the British government to “show the wayat a time when he is organizing the next major international environmental meeting, COP26, in Glasgow in November, in which he is demanding:financial institutions have a plan to achieve carbon neutrality, including their investments†
A spokesperson for industry association UK Finance responded to the investigation by saying that “credit institutions take their social responsibility very seriously and are playing a leading role in the transition to carbon neutral financing together with the government and the Bank of EnglandThe association recalls that last month major financial players announced their ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 by forming the Net Zero Banking Alliance, chaired by former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who appointed the special envoy. of the UN for Climate and one of the organizers of COP26.